Prosecutors won’t block long-sought Mainali retrial

Kyodo

The Tokyo High Prosecutor’s Office said Thursday it will not try to stop the retrial of Govinda Prasad Mainali with a special appeal to the Supreme Court.

The 45-year-old Nepalese man was released from prison in June after serving about 15 years of a life sentence for the murder of a Japanese woman in 1997, after a recent DNA test of semen found in the victim indicated Mainali wasn’t the killer.

Prosecutors said they will maintain he is responsible for the murder at the retrial, which is to begin in several months.

The DNA evidence, however, is expected to make it difficult for prosecutors to make their case. In ordering his retrial on June 7, the Tokyo High Court said the results of a test showed that semen found in and on the victim’s body did not match Mainali’s DNA, providing “clear evidence” that another man was the murderer.

Mainali, who was a restaurant worker in Japan, is now back in Nepal following his deportation for a visa violation upon his release from prison.

Mainali was initially acquitted by the Tokyo District Court in April 2000, but the high court overturned the ruling later that year and sentenced him to life in prison. The Supreme Court upheld the decision in 2003.